Bite me Fanboy: All Things Giffen
Welcome to a page in honour of one of my favorite comic artist/writers, Keith Giffen. From his well received work on the Legion of Super-Heroes to the present day, this immensely talented writer/artist has blazed a path through mainstream comics. His very individualistic art style on it's own would have been enough to secure him a place in comic lore, but when matched with his take no prisoners attitude to comic writing it makes him a leading light of the artform. He's responsible for the cash cow Lobo, the hilarious Ambush Bug, the weird Heckler and much more besides. For a while in the late 90s he developed a career as a Cleaner, taking over on flagging titles and finishing them off in his own style. The 21st Century so far has been Giffen friendly, with him working with several companies in the noughties and then signing an exclusive contract with DC, where he is usually working on a couple of titles each month .
He was born November 11 1952 in Queens, New York. In regards to his career in comics he has been quoted as saying Did 'em, do 'em, gonna keep on doing em.
This is what Marvel had do say about Mr. Giffen in Shadows & Light #3:
When Keith Giffen is asked to sum up his life to date, he often gives this simple response: Born, draws comics, wishes he was dead. It is humour such as this that has endeared Giffen to readers with creations such as Lobo, Rocket Raccoon and Lunatik. Fans know what to expect from me, says Giffen. I'm pretty much a tongue-in-cheek guy. So, if you want grim and gritty, go someplace else .
From Trencher #1 we have the following factoids:
Name: Keith Giffen
Powers: Able to wear corduroy pants without making that annoying "whiffing" Noise.
Height: 5' 10" Weight: 114lbs. (I know, Pretty Pathetic, ain't it?)
Origin: Recollection hazy, but still breaks out in a cold sweat whenever driving through the Lincoln tunnel.
Ambitions: Actually getting the blasted lid off the jar instead of loosening it just enough so that the next person to try...
Turn Ons: Karmic Retribution, confused sales clerks giving back too much change, cover enhancements that don't require the purchase of more than one copy of a comic.
Turn Offs: People who won't clear their throats even though it's obvious that they've got one mother of a juicer in there, the guilt that makes me return the change to the sales clerk, poly-bagged comics that are only considered mint if the bag remains unopened even though the bag is not chemically treated and will actually deep six the book in time
Biggest weakness: Two-finger typing (really makes writing this book an adventure.)
Biggest asset: Never uses ninjas in stories....NEVER!
His Philosophy of Comics
It's always surprises me how serious the comic industry is about their stories and their heroes and their, oh, so precious continuity. It's just comic books. At the end of the day, we're not curing cancer. This isn't great literature. It's barely art. It's just a really interesting, unique and fun way to tell a story. That's the way I see it. I am sure people have their own opinions and we could argue this all day. But to me, I am just a storyteller. - Bugs & Kisses: Giffen Brings Back Ambush Bug - Comic Book Resources
In his own Words
- Unfortunate Confluence of Words (comicbookresources.com) A column by Keith on the CBR website. Irregular schedule. Started 4 Jan 2008.
- As If I Care (Wizard Entertainment) A fortnightly column by the man himself on the Wizard website. 30 June 2006 to 31 December 2007.
16th annual Will Eisner
Comic Industry Awards
Winner for Best Humor Publication
Formerly Known as the Justice League, by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis, Kevin Maguire, and Joe Rubinstein (DC)